Smoking vs. Vaping: What’s the Difference?
Inhaling cannabis is the best way to find quick and effective relief. When you inhale cannabis smoke or vapor into your lungs, the cannabinoids enter your blood stream directly, allowing you to feel the effects almost immediately. Though both revolve around inhaling, it is important to understand the nuances of smoking versus vaping cannabis.
Whether through a joint, pipe or bong, smoking cannabis requires using a flame to burn the flower at a high temperature to the point of combustion.
A vaporizer is an electronic device that heats up cannabis (in flower, oil or concentrate form) activating the cannabis resin and enabling the cannabinoids to provide relief. When heated, the resin transforms into a steam (or vapor), which is what you exhale when you vape.
What are the main health concerns?
Though it is the most common method of consuming cannabis, there are certain risks associated with smoking cannabis. Scientific research does not conclusively show a direct correlation between respiratory diseases and smoking cannabis. However, smoking cannabis can expose your mouth and lungs to irritants, like tar and other carcinogens, from the burnt plant matter. If you’ve ever had an unbearable coughing fit after a big hit, you know what we’re talking about.
Vaping is widely considered a less harmful alternative to smoking since there are fewer toxins found in cannabis vapor as opposed to smoke. However, some vaping devices are poorly designed, containing metals and plastics that aren’t meant for high heat. The tool you use is just as important as the product you vaporize. Do your research and buy a vaporizer that is made from medical-grade materials. Make sure you purchase your goods from a reliable cannabis producer who prioritizes high quality product. Poorly manufactured oils and concentrates are often made from low quality flower and can contain unnecessary and sometimes harmful additives and toxins.
The tool you use is just as important as the product you vaporize. Do your research and buy a vaporizer that is made from medical-grade materials.
How should I choose the right delivery method?
Your delivery method ultimately depends on your personal preference and medical needs. If you’re a patient with a respiratory condition, like asthma, you may want to avoid smoking to protect your lungs. However, if you need immediate relief from a potent high, smoking might be the better avenue to take. Consider discretion, ease of use and maximizing therapeutic relief when deciding whether to smoke or vape your cannabis.
One of the main reasons to vape cannabis over smoking it is to maximize your intake of cannabinoids. Burning flower can destroy around half of the cannabinoids upon combustion. Even more will be wasted as the smoke continues to burn. Though the effects are felt quickly, smoking doesn’t give you the richest cannabinoid content.
For a lot of consumers, flavor matters when it comes to cannabis. Terpenes are the aroma compounds that are not only responsible for the delicious scent of cannabis, but also play a significant role in the effect of a strain. Certain terpenes burn at different temperatures. Vaping allows you to achieve a more custom high, depending on what type of relief you’re looking for. It is great for fine-tuning the tastes and flavor from your cannabis, as well as the potency of the high, based on the temperature setting.
There are a lot of reasons for why you might choose one method over the other, but they don’t have to mutually exclusive! The beauty of self-medicating with cannabis in today’s vibrant, legal market is that you have so many options. Be open-minded and try different things, and you’ll soon discover what works best for you.